The latest OSCE monitoring report is out.
So what can we glean from it? In terms of countering Russia’s propaganda and confirming the Ukrainian army reports, these fortnightly reports tell us a great deal.
February 24th to March 8th.
There were about 9,200 ceasefire violations, including 800 explosions.
This total is down from 13,100 and 1,200 respectively – with these higher numbers due to Russia-led forces February 18th, large-scale artillery attack around the Zolote disengagement area. This reduction in firing matches Ukrainian army reports.
On Weapons Violations: Russia-led forces continue their exclusive track record of being responsible for the highest number of heavy weapons positioned on/near the front line and for locating hardware near civilian property. Overall, 82 weapons violations, with 64 of these in non-Ukraine government controlled areas.
Civilian casualties: Sadly, 7 were injured, including 1 killed.
These are casualties confirmed by the OSCE. Russia’s puppet Donetsk & Luhansk republics report a steady stream of civilian injuries, which they claim are caused by Ukrainian military shelling. However, with OSCE monitors routinely refused access to hospitals and medical staff, it’s clear many of the reported injuries are fictional and merely propaganda. Overall 2020 total: Two civilians killed & 19 injured.
Many civilian casualties are due to people stepping on, or driving over anti-tank mines and various forms of explosive devices such as smaller anti-personnel mines. Many routinely occur in the occupied territories, with civilians suffering horrendous, life-changing injuries.
A graphic example of this happened on March 1st: Russia’s forces have heavily mined the southern bank of the Siverskyi Donets River. This is a major river that people fish from, and in this case, also walk along its banks. On March 1st, a married couple was out walking. The woman stepped on a mine, severely injuring her left leg. Her husband went to get to help, and he too stepped on a mine, injuring his right leg. Both their damaged legs were subsequently amputated while in hospital. Also, during the rescue attempt of the couple, several Russia-led soldiers were wounded by another mine.
I’ve said it before, but it’s worth mentioning again. NO ONE was having legs blown off before Russia invaded eastern Ukraine in 2014. Note the OSCE report observing 2,500 anti-tank mines along the front line (contact line).
OSCE report detailing the above incident.
Freedom of Movement Restrictions: Again Russia-led forces win top prize for consistently stopping/hindering OSCE patrols from monitoring the occupied region, most notably along the Russian border. Total of 47 restrictions, with 46 in non-Ukraine government controlled areas. In addition, OSCE UAV were subject to signal interference on 25 occasions.
To help combat the spread of the Corona Virus (COVID-19): OSCE noted Ukrainian soldiers had started wearing protective masks and cloves and checking peoples temperatures at front line checkpoints. One assumes, Russia & its Russia-led forces don’t give a damn about people living in the occupied regions, hence no preventive measures observed. After-all, buying medical equipment and protective clothing costs Russia money.
March 17th: Seen above, Ukrainian soldiers & medical teams check the temperatures of civilians passing through their checkpoints. To hinder the spread of the virus, Ukraine’s restricted to entry only for those with permanent registration in government-controlled areas, and exit only for those who reside in non-government-controlled areas.